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Eurypterid and Trilobite Hunt

A Fossil Hunt for Eurypterids and Trilobites in NY and Ontario


Fossil Exposures along Lake Erie

Fossil Exposures along Lake Erie


On April 30 – May 1st, I took a trip to Canada and New York with the Times Scientific group. The reason for this trip, for me, was to find a Eurypterid, or Sea Scorpion. These fossil are difficult to find and there are not many places one can look for them. Roy from times loves those trilobites from west New York, and was set on finding some.

On Friday, I was armed with directions, collecting tips, and reservations for the quarry. All psyched up, we crossed the border into Eurypterid heaven. Once there, a seasoned Eurypterid collector showed us the ropes, and lent us a shovel (which no one thought to bring) to clear the overburden.

A few hours into the dig, we all realized, perhaps no one will find a complete Eurypterid this trip. Sadly, when we left, our suspicions were confirmed; only pieces were found. Everyone found lots of heads, and body segments, but no whole ones… Maybe next time!

On Saturday, we got up early to hit 18-mile creek fossil area. On the walk to the fossil collecting area, we all stepped on or over a mass trilobite mortality plate. Luckily, after everyone else walked on or over it, Wrong Way Rob looked down and spied a trilo, then two, then three, then four, then five, then… He spent most the day attempting to take the plate out of the surrounding matrix. By days end, the plate was broke in a few major pieces, but had a total of over 10 complete decent sized bugs on it. I believe he may get it professionally prepped. Everyone else did fairly well. We all found whole enrolled trilobite fossils, and some of us found some nice prone trilobites. Toward the end of the day, some of us scouted out other sections along 18-mile creek with little success.


Images of the site and the Fossils.


View of the Canadian Quarry that has Eurypterid sea scorpions


Roy with a mischievous looking grin


Clearing the overburden



Lake Erie Shore


A section of 18-mile creek near a railroad bridge.


Roy is lost


Looking for a rare species of aquatic trilobites. The scientific name is "SCUBAbites"


Images of the Eurypterid and Trilobite Fossils


Only Eurypterid (Sea Scorpion) pieces were found


The Deathplate as Wrong Way Rob found it


A rather large phacops that Roy found


Before and After images of prepped fossils


Partially enrolled phacops - before prep


Partially enrolled phacops - after prep


Enrolled greenops on side + phacops - before prep


Enrolled greenops on side + phacops - after prep


Partially enrolled phacops - before prep


Partially enrolled phacops - after prep


Another partially enrolled phacops - before prep


Another partially enrolled phacops - after prep


Enrolled phacops with molds - before prep


Enrolled phacops with molds - after prep


Enrolled phacops on its side - before prep


Enrolled phacops on its side - after prep


A bunch of matrix free enrolled phacops trilobite fossils




Recommended Books for Western New York Fossils:



Field Guide to the Devonian Fossils of New York
by Karl A. Wilson, 2014

There hasn't been a decent book on the fossils of Western New York available to the nonn professional until this book came out. This is a MUST for anyone fossil hunting in Western New York. It is an updated guide to all the Devonian taxa of New York... Simply amazing! It's a nice replacement for the out of print and outdated "Devonian Paleontology of New York" that I've used so much.




Geology And Paleontology Of Eighteen Mile Creek And The Lake Shore Sections Of Erie County, New York (1898)
by Amadeus William Grabau, 1898 (2010 reprint)

This is a famous publication by Grabau himself. Serious Devonian fossil hunter needs this! Grabau laid the framework for Devonian fossils! This book is a nice history piece chalk full of pictures and descriptions for fossil identification.
The prices often fluxuate, but you can usually get a copy from $30 - $40.




Dynamic Stratigraphy and Depositional Environments of the Hamilton Group (Middle Devonian) in New York State, Part II
Editors: Ed Landing and carlton E. Brett. (1991)

This New York State Museum Bulletin (#469) is a collection of research papers about the Middle Devonian of New York.

I recommend this book if you want a deep understanding of the the paleoenviroments of the Devonian of New York. The papers include how the sediments were deposited, faunal lists, reconstructions of paleoenvironments, stratigraphy, and more. Being research papers, it's a bit more technical than the other books, but it gives a great overview of the Devonian of western New York.




Devonian Biostratigraphy of New York

International Union of Geological Sciences
Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy, (Part 1 and Part 2)
Editors: Willian A. Oliver, Jr. and Gilber Klapper
July 1981, Washington D.C.


This is an incredibly informative book, however it is somewhat difficult to find. Your best bet is a University Library.



Recommended Link:

New York Paleontology
Although a bit old, this is still arguably the best New York Paleontology website out there!



Trilobites for Sale:


Trilobites from Fossilera



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